[uh b-ses-iv-kuh m-puhl-siv]
  1. of or relating to a personality style characterized by perfectionism, indecision, conscientiousness, concern with detail, rigidity, and inhibition.
  2. Psychiatry. of or relating to a neurosis characterized by persistent intrusion of unwanted thoughts (obsessions) or the performance of actions, as repeated hand-washing, that one is unable to stop (compulsions).
  1. a person having such a personality style.

Origin of obsessive-compulsive

First recorded in 1925–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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obsessive-compulsive in Medicine


  1. Having a tendency to dwell on unwanted thoughts or perform certain repetitious rituals, especially as a defense against anxiety from unconscious conflicts.
  1. A person who exhibits obsessive-compulsive behavior.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.